Over the weekend of October 5-6, 2013, I participated in one of the most amazing creative hackathon events in New York City and won a very special award. I was one of the selected storytellers for Re3 StoryHack that invites creative storytellers to build great narratives around and give voice to important social issues using design, writing, technology and all other types of creative mediums. I was part of the team working on the issue of Gun Violence, with a story nominated by Marlon Peterson who actually works with the at-risk population in the Crown Heights area. Our challenge was to design a more emotionally resonant way to address the Gun Violence statistics that are usually represented so coldly in data visualizations.
My teammates (Kees Plattel, Aaron Hill, David Yanofsky, Julie Salzman and Jennifer Goldstick) and I worked hard from morning till late in the night over the weekend on a project we titled ‘Bulletpoints’ that turns the statistics of gun violence related homicides into stories that raise awareness for the trauma associated with gun violence both and after the actual incident of firing. We started off with Freddie- a composite character based on life events from people who have actually experienced gun violence. We filmed videos for the different events in Freddie’s violence-stridden life to show that violence had become a norm- and we need to stop treating it as one. Our project plan includes distributing these videos as digitally consumable media through Instagram as well as pulling them together on a website to create the complex narratives of Freddie and his community members.